DuBOIS — An early goal proved to be more than enough for the Brookville girls soccer team Thursday, as the Lady Raiders knocked off host DuBois Central Catholic, 3-0, to go over the .500 mark at 5-4.
Brookville wasted little time jumping on the Lady Cardinals (6-5), with Emily Kramer scoring just 4:49 into the game to make it 1-0. The Lady Raiders controlled the action the remainder of the half, allowing DCC just one shot on goal, but still led just 1-0 at the break.
The second half proved to be more of the same, with Brookville winning the possession battle but struggling to find the net to extend its lead. The Lady Raiders were finally able to do so in the final eight minutes, as Jillian Taylor and Madison McAninch scored 2:04 a part to seal the victory.
Lady Raider senior keeper Alissa Watterson needed just two saves to record the shutout.
She stopped an Anne Latuska direct kick from just outside the box at the near post with 11:02 left in the first half, while her second save made amends for her own miscue midway through second half.
Watterson attemped to clear a loose ball out of her own goal box but her kick went directly to DCC’s Rachel Aravich. The Lady Cardinal quickly broke in towards the Lady Raider net, but Watterson hustled out and blocked a shot off Aravich’s foot to keep it a 1-0 game at time.
The scoring opportunity proved to be the last real one of the game for the Lady Cardinals.
“Scoring an early goal like that always helps,” said Brookville coach Matthew Kramer. “It was kind of on and off there a little bit (after score), but for the most part I feel we controlled the game.
“We made some adjustments at halftime, and the girls came out and also seemed to put the other team to sleep a little but. We had a couple nice goals there late, and al lthe girls are capable of that. When we play that way, we end up scoring goals.”
Kramer also praised the play of Watterson and her defense in front of her.
“I really don’t think there is a better goalie in our conference,” said Kramer of Watterson. “She does a great job. Our defense also does a nice job and kind of making her job a little easier. But, usually when it comes down to her really needing to step up for us, she does. And, she has made some really nice saves for us this year.”
Brookville came out strong from the opening whistle and put the pressure of DCC keeper MacKenzie Manning. Just under three minutes in, Kramer fired a shot on goal that Manning stopped. The rebound found its way to a Lady Raider, who sent a second shot over top the DCC net.
Brookville quickly won the ball back following a DCC goal kick, and a Lady Raider found Kramer wide open in the middle of the DCC defense. Kramer didn’t waste the opportunity, as she blasted a shot inside the near post to put Brookville up 1-0.
A vast majority of the final 35 minutes of the first half was played on the DCC half of the field, although shots were at a premium for the Lady Raiders as the two teams traded the ball back-and-forth for the most part.
Brookville mustered just four shots in the half after Kramer’s goal, with Manning making two saves. The Lady Raiders’ best scoring chance during that stretch was a long shot by Megan Mealy that Manning stopped.
Latuska’s attempt off a direct kick late in the half proved to be DCC’s lone shot of the first 40 minutes.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was a continuation of the first half, as the teams largely traded the ball back-and-forth in the midfield areas.
Aravich’s opportunity at the midway point of the half was the first real scoring chance for either side, but Watterson’s hustle play kept it a 1-0 game. It also may have been a wake up call for the Lady Raiders, as they seized control of the game from there and put the pressure back on DCC’s defense and Manning.
The Lady Cardinal keeper was initially up to the challenge, stopping two shots by McAninch over the next 11 minutes.
Brookville finally cracked Manning with just under eight minutes to play off a corner kick. The ball was played into the DCC box and a Lady Raider quickly whipped a pass to Taylor, who was wide open just outside the top of the box. Taylor fired a looping shot that found the top, right corner of the net to make it 2-0 with 7:55 remaining.
The Lady Raiders added to that lead just over two minutes later.
Kramer started the play with a nice pass into the box from the midfield to Hannah Petterson. Petterson in turn quickly slipped a pass across the box to McAninch, who buried her shot past Manning to set the eventual final at 3-0.
“I think we were a little tired with three games this week,” said DCC coach Dawn Bressler. “Their defense is pretty strong in the back there. But, I do think we held them off for a good while before they scored again on us.
“I’m still proud of them, and we just need to condition a little more because we have tough games next week too.”
Brookville travels to Redbank Valley Tuesday, while DCC hosts Brockway on Monday.